Transitioning Older Workers Into New Opportunities Doesn't Have to Be Hard
Organizations have a responsibility, as well as a clear economic incentive, to support them in their next steps.
Entrepreneur. Rick Terrien. July 16, 2020.
Organizations and the people who work for them, especially their older workers, are heading into a time of significant economic disruption. As health and economic crises mount, significant new challenges will confront the economy.
The Chinese word for crisis includes characters representing both danger and opportunity. How do older workers and the organizations they work with turn this crisis into an opportunity?
We need new maps to navigate this transition. Entrepreneurship offers a strong direction. We can create policies and options that allow older workers to transition from full-time employee to people who are able to create smart new business, while continuing their service to organizations, markets and communities they care about.
Simply cutting off contact between older workers and their former employers makes little economic sense. These workers have the knowledge, know-how, industry experience and networks that can take years and decades to develop. For workers, being able to stay connected to their markets and communities they love can bring inspiration and motivation to their work, while allowing them to work on their own schedules, at their own pace, on projects they have particular knowledge of. Creating options for helping both the employer and the older worker navigate this transition makes smart business sense.
Among these options, older individuals could gradually leave full-time employment and establish their own small firms. These new "ageless" startups could continue as team members within multi-generational work groups operating within their former organizations. These new small firms could also support their former employers as brand ambassadors and evangelists for products, service and missions of the organizations where they grew their careers.The dawning of the era of the ageless entrepreneur is here. Let’s work together to make this a valuable and profitable transition for all involved.
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